NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports cut a deal to fuse internet, TV coverage


NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports cut a deal to fuse internet, TV coverage

While Yahoo has had a tumultuous last few years, one unit that has consistently been at the top of the heap is its sports news division. At the same time, NBC Sports has been getting a boost — even without the NHL’s help — ever since Comcast bought NBCUniversal. Apparently between Yahoo’s need to better leverage its media properties and NBC’s free agency after calling it quits with Microsoft the two have found common ground and struck a deal. Although both websites will continue to operate independently, expect multi-platform crossover between TV and internet, cross-promotion with links to NBC Sports Live Extra streams from within Yahoo, new made-for-the-internet video shows combining their assets and Yahoo’s fantasy sports will be the exclusive game for NBC’s Rotoworld site. Check after the break for the press release and a heads up on why even non-sports fans that pay for TV may need to keep an eye on this move.

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

How To Parallel Park Like A Hedgehog Between 2 Goldfish


A clever new Volkswagen print ad compares the difficulty of parallel parking to how tough it would be for a spiky hedgehog to squeeze between two goldfish in vulnerable plastic bags. 

The ad points out that with the help of Volkswagen Park Assist, complicated parallel parking situations can now be easily dealt with.

Here’s the ad, created by DDB Tribal Berlin:

Volkswagen hedgehog goldfish

Hat tip to Ads of the World

Related: AD OF THE DAY: Photographers Almost Kill Themselves Just To Get That Shot

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Another Super Bearish Facebook Analyst Has Changed His Mind (FB)


mark zuckerberg

Facebook has managed to get two bearish analysts to change their mind.

Carlos Kirjner at Bernstein Research and Rich Greenfield at BTIG have both upgraded the stock this morning. We’ve written up Greenfield’s note here, if you want to read it. (In short, he thinks Facebook’s plan to stuff ads in the mobile news feed is going help it beat Q4 estimates.)

As for Kirjner, he’s rating the stock “outperform,” and has a $33 price target.

Here’s why in a nutshell:

We think consensus is underestimating Facebook’s revenue growth potential over the next 12-24 months. We think Facebook is on path to beat consensus revenues over the next 12-24 months, delivering $6,976 million in 2013, 9% higher than consensus’ $6,388 million, and $8,650 million in 2014, or 7% higher than consensus’ $8,078 million. Further monetization of (mobile) Newsfeed inventory will be the main driver of growth, as we believe that for the next 18-24 months Facebook probably can increase the number of ad impressions per user per day with limited chance of seeing material deterioration in user experience. We also believe that at this point and for the near-to-medium term, its revenue growth trajectory will be the main driver of Facebook’s stock performance. In addition to mobile, further monetization of the PC Newsfeed and the positive impact of the Facebook Exchange on right-hand-side column CPMs will help drive growth.

Beyond this, Kirjner believes Facebook’s social advertising initiatives can work:

Social, new businesses opportunities and the platform remain options fo! r furthe r upside for the next two years and beyond. The successful monetization of Newsfeed inventory and introduction of the Facebook Exchange have given Facebook an 18-24 month runway to develop new revenue streams from new formats (e.g., gifts), to work with advertisers and third parties such as Datalogix and Nielsen to improve (online brand) advertising ROI and its measurement, which would enhance its long-term pricing, and to continue pushing adoption of social across the Web with its platform play, based on Facebook Connect and the Open Graph Protocol. In other words, we still think of Facebook as a distinctive display advertising business, but mobile and the exchange make it better and larger, and extend the time horizon Facebook has to realize the potential of new business opportunities and of social advertising.

The bottom line here is that Facebook has shown it’s willing to build a big business, something analysts didn’t think would happen. And now they’re upgrading the stock. They are still cautious about how it all plays out, but overall there is reason to be positive about the stock for the first time since it became publicly traded.

Don’t Miss: Facebook’s IPO Was One Of The Biggest Tech Flops Of The Year

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Monday, November 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook’s Latest Move Shows How Hard It Is To Get People To Check In (FB)


Facebook check-ins

Facebook might have found a way to get people to use a long-neglected feature: check-ins, where you announce to your friends where you are.

It is testing a new service that offers local businesses free Wi-Fi through a router. To get online, customers must either check in using Facebook or get a passcode.

Facebook will provide the router for free, but businesses must pay for the Internet connection.

How does this help businesses? The check-in offers two chances for them to get free promotion on Facebook.

When users check in, they post their location with the business’s name on their Timeline and on friends’ News Feeds.

After they check in and get access, they’re directed to the business’s Facebook page. If they click Like on that page, that action also gets broadcast.

Facebook, in turn, can try to get the business to buy ads that make these check-ins and Likes more prominent in the News Feeds of customer’s friends.

In order to access Facebook Wi-Fi, customers must first check in to the local business. After checking in, the router directs you to the business’s Facebook page, which may have deals or discounts.

Facebook tells us this actually started as a hackathon project. That’s why they’re only testing the service at a few local businesses for now. Back-of-the-envelope math suggests it would take a lot of ad spending to earn back the cost of the router.

In theory, this might be a threat to Foursquare, whose mobile app centers around check-ins. A lot of people worried about Foursquare when Facebook first launched check-ins in 2010.


But the real problem that Facebook and Foursquare seem to face is apathy. Only 10 percent of adults use check-in services, according to a Pew Internet study conducted in May. For smartphone users, the number is a little higher at 18 percent. But so far, the prospect of deals and discounts hasn’t proved compelling for most people.

Even Foursquare has started talking about how people use its app without checking in to find local information.

Maybe free Wi-Fi will prove a better incentive.

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Friday, November 2nd, 2012 news No Comments

Android claims 75 percent of smartphone shipments in Q3, 136 million handsets sold


IDC: Android claims 75 percent of smartphone shipments in Q3, 136 million handsets sold

Android devices already counted for a lion’s share of phones shipped during Q2, and now fresh IDC figures show Google’s OS claiming the top spot with a hefty 75 percent marketshare in the third quarter. In total, 136 million Android handsets were shipped during the time frame, a new record in a single quarter. Even with the help of new hardware, iOS lagged behind in second place with a 14.9 percent stake of handsets. Both Blackberry and Symbian clung to their respective 3rd and 4th place spots, making up 6.6 percent of total shipments. Windows-based phones (both WP7 and Windows Mobile) fell to 2 percent, keeping Microsoft in fifth place just above smartphones running Linux. However, with Windows Phone 8 devices making their debut, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Redmond’s numbers get a boost when IDC’s next report rolls around.

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IDC: Android claims 75 percent of smartphone shipment! s in Q3, 136 million handsets sold originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 01 Nov 2012 22:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, November 2nd, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Connectify Dispatch lets you put all your internets together into one big internet (video)


In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.

DNP Conectify lets you put all your internets together into one big internet

If you’ve ever thought “Hey, my internet is pretty slow, maybe I can get a second line and combine them into one big, zippy connection!” then you’re not alone — those of us who are broadband-deprived need all the help we can get. But a quick tour through Google will show you the difficulty of doing that process, called “bonding,” at home. So, Connectify has proposed Dispatch, software that lets you easily combine your WiFi, ethernet and 3G/4G into a single, fat pipe, at a reasonable cost. The company brings along wireless sharing know-how from its Hotspot product to the project, and promises that with every connection you combine, you’ll get a corresponding bump in throughput. Also, the system will automatically failover to a good connection if one goes on the fritz, and even switch automatically between WiFi and 3G/4G to maximize speed and save money.

To prove the tech, the company combined all the available open WiFi networks in a neighborhood along with a tethered Verizon mobile phone, and were able to create an impressive 85Mbs connection, as the video below the break shows. So far, Connectify ha! s vacuum ed up $30K for Dispatch toward the $50K objective, with about two weeks left. So, if you’re desperate for more speed, or just want to trump your neighbor’s bandwidth by stealing his WiFi and melding it with your ADSL, check the source to see how to pledge.

Continue reading Insert Coin: Connectify Dispatch lets you put all your internets together into one big internet (video)

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Insert Coin: Connectify Dispatch lets you put all your internets together into one big internet (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Aug 2012 14:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

News Corp launches Amplify educational unit, with help from AT&T (video)


News Corp launches Amplify educational unit, with help from AT&T

In light of recent scandals, it’s hard not to see this as a bit of image rehabilitation, but we’ll do our best to take it at face value. News Corp is bringing its 18-month-old educational division to the fore by rebranding it Amplify and teaming up with AT&T to put tablets in the hands of students. The unit will focus on developing products and services tailored for classrooms, ranging from kindergarten through high school. And, at the center of that ecosystem, will be the Amplify Tablet (which, judging from the video below, appears to be a modified Galaxy Tab). Videos, encyclopedia entries, books and even remote tutoring apps will all be just a tap away. The tablets will get their first trial run in the US during the 2012-2013 school year. With the phone hacking scandal behind him, former New York City school chancellor Joel Klein (who headed up News Corp’s internal investigation), is free to focus on getting Amplify rolling and into classrooms across the nation. Before you head off, make sure to watch the clip from AT&T after the break.

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Ne ws Corp launches Amplify educational unit, with help from AT&T (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 23 Jul 2012 13:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

The Stealth Stimulus That Could Tip Consumer Spending


Bulls on the economy are constantly looking for any reason to be optimistic on the U.S. economy.

Personal consumption accounts for around 70 percent of GDP, so any help to the consumer would be welcome.

“There are many reasons to be skeptical of forecasts for a significant overall reacceleration in consumer spending in 2H,” writes Citi economist Steve Wieting.  “But there are some bright spots.”

Wieting dug up a nugget that could provide a little stimulus: tax refunds.  From his note to clients:

As Figure 12 shows, gross tax refunds have increased relative to disposable income in recent years. Tax refunds are a seasonal phenomenon, and ordinarily don’t deserve much attention. But as they have increased in amplitude, their impact may be more notable. Payments within the first quarter were particularly large and early. For the consumers relying on such payments, savings rates are low, and consumption is closely and immediately tied to cash flows.

tax refund chart

SEE ALSO: The Most Unemployed City In Every State >

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Friday, June 29th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook And Zynga Have Finally Launched Their Ad Partnership (FB, ZNGA)


Facebook ads

It’s been more than two years in the making, but Zynga, the giant social-gaming company, has finally started running ads placed by Facebook.

Inside Facebook first noticed that the social network’s targeted ads now appear on They’re pretty much identical to the Sponsored Stories and other ad formats Facebook displays on its own site, and indeed, Facebook’s Help Center tells users that these are the “same ads you see on”

In March 2010, after resolving a dispute over the cut Facebook would get from Zynga’s virtual-currency sales, the two companies signed a long-term agreement to cooperate.

In 2011, Zynga revealed details of the agreement in an amended S-1 filing, showing that Zynga and Facebook had agreed to share advertising revenues if Facebook sold ads on Zynga websites.

AllThingsD suggests that this might be the start of a Facebook-run ad network, similar to Google’s AdSense, in which Facebook would place ads on all kinds of third-party sites. That’s not exactly a new notion: As early as 2007, speculation was rife in Silicon Valley that Facebook would launch a third-party ad network. The real surprise is how cautious the move-fast-and-break-things hackers at Facebook have been about introducing one.

Even now, caution abides: It’s not a given that this effort will expand past Zynga, but given the preexisting agreement between the companies, Zynga’s a logical place to test.

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Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 news No Comments

Researchers out faux product review groups with a lot of math and some help from Google


Google sponsors research that outs faux product review groups, calculates 'spamicity' and more

Ever consulted a crowdsourced review for a product or service before committing your hard-earned funds to the cause? Have you wondered how legit the opinions you read really are? Well, it seems that help is on the way to uncover paid opinion spamming and KIRF reviews. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have released detailed calculations in the report Spotting Fake Reviewer Groups in Consumer Reviews — an effort aided by a Google Faculty Research Award. Exactly how does this work, you ask? Using the GSRank (Group Spam Rank) algorithm, behaviors of both individuals and a group as a whole are used to gather data on the suspected spammers.

Factors such as content similarity, reviewing products early (to be most effective), ratio of the group size to total reviewers and the number of products the group has been in cahoots on are a few bits of data that go into the analysis. The report states, “Experimental results showed that GSRank significantly outperformed the state-of-the-art supervised classification, regression, and learning to rank algorithms.” Here’s to hoping this research gets wrapped into a nice software application, but for now, review mods may want to brush up on their advanced math skills. If you’re curious about the full explanation, hit the source link for the full-text PDF.

Researchers out faux product review groups with a lot of ! math and some help from Google originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 17 Apr 2012 19:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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